The Bucs ended the 2017 season on a high note, beating the New Orleans Saints on a last minute touchdown pass from Jameis Winston to rookie Chris Godwin. Below are the most impressive Bucs in the win.

WR Chris Godwin
Easily the first name that comes to mind for this game. Godwin finished the game with 7 catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Godwin got his first touchdown in game-winning fashion on what was probably the best throw quarterback Jameis Winston has made all season. While it may have been the first touchdown of his career, Godwin has been reliable whenever his number is called, coming up with clutch catches when a play needs to be made. Godwin’s teammates and coaches have compared the rookie’s mindset to that of a season veteran. These claim certainly seems to hold water the way he has broken out in these final weeks.

RB Peyton Barber
Barber started hot with a touchdown on the first drive and ended the game with 71 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He did have a fumble, but was able to fall on it. I guess the ball finally bounced the Bucs’ way.

Barber has been the best back on this team since training camp and it just took until these last couple weeks to realize it. I was one that was fooled in camp, thinking that Martin would come off of suspension and solidify his role as the lead back with a great season. That obviously didn’t happen and Barber has earned his role as the staring running back of this team.

Run Defense
Bucs fans remember the last time the defense faced the two-headed monster that is Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The duo combined for 144 yards rushing.

This was by no means a lockdown performance from the defense. Kamara’s game was very similar this time around. He caught six passes for 84 yards and was a threat running the ball, but there is something to be said about holding this backfield to under 100 yards rushing. It wasn’t pretty, but the defense got the stops they needed to get to win this game.

Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David had a lot to do with this, combining for 16 tackles (11 of those coming from Alexander).

WR Adam Humphries
We joked during the game that this offense runs through Adam Humphries, and it came to fruition. Humphries recorded his first 100 yard game of the season on seven catches.

Humphries is another guy that has earned the title of “Mr. Reliable” during his time in Tampa and tonight was no different.

TE Cameron Brate
Brate’s performance doesn’t jump out at you on the stat sheet, with just 3 catches for 37 yards. Those who watched the game know just how important one of those catches was.

There are two minutes left and you need a field goal to win. Being backed up on your own 5 yard line facing a fourth-and-10 in just about as bad a situation you can be in. Winston’s safety valve, sure-handed as ever, stayed calm and converted the fourth down to keep the drive alive.

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About the Author: Austin DeWitt

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macabee
macabee
4 years ago

To really appreciate what is impressive, one must step back and look at what the Bucs did. They beat the NFC-South champions with a rag tag bunch of back benchers like Caleb Bennenoch, Leonard Wester, Joe Hawley, and Evan Smith (no offense meant, somebody had to play because most of the starters are on IR). Just Imagine if all of our players were healthy. Now the Saints had injuries too, but they weren’t resting players. They wanted very much to have home field advantage. Spanky and Our Gang beat the mighty Saints – no easy feat! Impressive if you ask… Read more »

Freeman Strickland
Freeman Strickland
Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

Some more to think about to appreciate how good or bad the Bucs are at the end of the season. The Football Outsiders article these stats come from uses stats form 12/26/2017, after week 16. Bucs started the season with a difficult strength of schedule that was revised to the most difficult by some measures as the season progressed. This article rates the Bucs as average (15 of 32) based on rushing Adjusted Line Yards of 4.04 yds per play vs league avg 4.5 and league best 5.07. Adjusted Line Yards is a regression which considers opponent, down, distance, situation,… Read more »

macabee
macabee
Reply to  Freeman Strickland
4 years ago

Great observations Freeman. Let’s hope for the best. Happy New Year!

Jlog
Jlog
4 years ago

I get what you saying but Joe Hawley is our starter.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  Jlog
4 years ago

No Jlog, Ali Marpet is our starting Center, just on IR.

bucjoe
bucjoe
Reply to  Jlog
4 years ago

Joe Harley is our starter only because Ali Marpet is injured and Evan Smith had to move to RG because Sweezy was injured too

surferdudes
4 years ago

Bucs would be wise to bring in a center in this draft, and move Marpet back to guard.

bucjoe
bucjoe
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

Don’t agree. In his first season as a C Marpet at one point was rated as among the top 10 best in the NFL. With him at C, Winston seldom had a rusher coming dree up the middle like he did his first two years in the league and after Marpet went in IR.

Gulfstrings
Gulfstrings
4 years ago

The Glazers could be on this list. Keeping Coach and the continuity doing so provides, goes a long way toward future success.

scubog
scubog
4 years ago

So we leave off Jameis Winston who got us out of that 95 yard hole on 4th and 10. I guess the interceptions outweigh the otherwise gutsy play. That was one impressive 95 yard drive against the Division champs.

sean champion
sean champion
Reply to  scubog
4 years ago

He should probably be in both categories. His INTs were definitely disappointing, but his drive at the end was extremely impressive.

Jed
Jed
Reply to  scubog
4 years ago

People seem to forget that Favre had games like this all the time. You take the good with the bad. The difference this time for the Bucs is they had somewhat of a running game and the defense showed up now and then. Makes a big difference.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

I have said before and will again Coach Koetter did not loss the locker room!
IMO this offense is better without D Jackson. I hope the Bucs can trade him!

jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
4 years ago

I was happy to hear that the Glazers are going to keep Koetter. I don’t think he is the best “play caller”, but he seems to be well liked and his team play hard for him. Winston is a winner! I think this team has the major parts to win.

chetthevette
chetthevette
4 years ago

Yes sir, Godwin is a keeper.
Barber is our starter, as much as I have crowed about Dougie he has to go.
I don’t keep up with salaries, but DeJax has to go, Take Baker with him.
Clinton MacDonald should also be on this list.
Time to start my annual draft watch. Who wins it all now.
Pittsburg and the Falcons is my preference. Falcons win it.
Any one but the Patriots is really fine by me.
GO BUCS, please draft line men, pretty please.

macabee
macabee
Reply to  chetthevette
4 years ago

Chet, I agree on Godwin, but D-Jax has a guaranteed 11mil for 2018. I don’t know who would be willing to pick up that contract in a trade. HC Koetter crowed about him (big ups) in his presser today. Will probably be a Buc in 2018.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/tampa-bay-buccaneers/desean-jackson-3690/

deeznuts
deeznuts
Reply to  chetthevette
4 years ago

clinton mcdonald has been a great role player for us.. he has 5 sacks this year in limited PT compared to GMC’s 6 sacks when getting 80+% of the snaps at 3T.. On the other hand, Baker is awful. I will agree with you that I preferred to resign VJax over signing DJax to 11mil/year last offseason but our playbook was never adjusted for his skillset..not to mention the O-line cant hold their blocks for 5-step drops which eliminates the deep balls

bucballer
bucballer
4 years ago

Congrats to Bucs to pulling out a season ending win against the Saints! While Jamesis had the 3 picks, he was throwing the ball well. I think he had a good not great game… even though the win cost us 2 lower draft pick slots. We got some dead weight for sure. Bye D. Martin. Bye Baker. I would keep Grimes 1 more year. Same with D-Jax. U have to respect that speed. He has to learn his role. And that is to be part of the receiving corps and not the main cog! Evans, Godwin, D-Jax, Humpries can produce… Read more »

owlykat
owlykat
4 years ago

What is needed the most for the first pick is the best LT available. This draft is very deep in good DEs, and especially if we are smart enough to convert to the 3-4 and can take DEs who are 250 pounds and convert them to outside linebackers, this could be a very good draft for us if we had a great GM. This draft is equally deep in good RBs. I would recommend 1. best LT. (Move Smith to his best position, LG) 2. Move back into 1st round and get the best DE available. 3. Center. (Move Marpet… Read more »